Every startup is an AI startup: How to accelerate business growth with AI

Artificial intelligence is slowly becoming the norm for Indian startups that are working to innovate and solve problems, disrupting industry norms, in diverse areas ranging from dairy to defence.
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India is the world’s third-largest tech startup ecosystem which, despite the pandemic, continues to grow steadily at 8-10 percent annually, especially in the technology domain.

The deep tech startups’ base in India has expanded at over 40 percent CAGR over the past four years, with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) accounting for two-thirds of all deep tech startups.

AI: An enabler of innovation and disruption

We are seeing Indian startups leverage AI to become the pole-bearers of innovation, solving problems, disrupting industry norms, or enhancing capabilities in diverse areas ranging from dairy to defence.

AI is the enabler, the tool, the means to create solutions; it is not always the end-goal. Every startup, irrespective of the domain it focuses on, leverages AI capabilities in some form or the other, and many of its business functions and operations are powered by AI capabilities.

Even if the end-solution is seemingly as “non-technical” as a Human Resource (HR) platform, it still has many components that leverage the power of AI, data, and analytics. When viewed in this light, it becomes evident that every startup is a tech startup, and, increasingly, an AI startup.

AI is now democratised, and increasingly, ubiquitous

There are many ways in which we, as consumers, use AI in our day-to-day activities without realising it – unlocking our phone with face ID; seeing our emails automatically categorised; receiving content suggestions on websites; navigating while driving; converting speech to text in the form of subtitles or transcripts; interacting with chatbots and smart personal assistants, and more.

AI is now ubiquitous, and indeed democratised, such that every startup needs to use AI at the heart of its technology stack to offer its customers the experience they have come to expect.

AI helps startups discover information, learn from data, and drive intelligent decisions. It makes operations more efficient; enhances product and service innovation; and enables higher employee effectiveness and creativity.

A three-pronged approach

We believe that the approach of any organisation to AI, including startups, should be based on three key pillars: meaningful innovation; empowering people; and responsibility.

Innovation with agility, at scale

Innovation can be greatly accelerated with AI capabilities that are on par with those of humans in areas such as object recognition, speech recognition, reading comprehension, and language translation.

Empowering everyone

AI capabilities are no longer restricted to data scientists, but rather accessible by all skill levels. Citizen developers to bot designers, application developers to engineers with no-code or code-first experiences can leverage cognitive services, knowledge mining and machine learning capabilities today to develop AI-powered applications and solutions.

Responsible AI

Responsible AI includes fairness, security and privacy, safety and reliability, inclusion, accountability, and transparency.

Tremendous potential for India’s economy

Over the past decade, AI has emerged as one of the most transformational technologies of the digital age. However, we are still only scratching the surface when it comes to the technology’s overall economic potential.

A 2020 NASSCOM report estimated AI’s contribution to India’s GDP at $500 billion by 2025, with impact across a wide range of sectors. Startups are key to unlocking this potential for India through innovative solutions for untapped market opportunities, customer needs, socio-economic challenges.

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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